Sunday, January 29, 2006

Contest Results - Happy New Year !!!

It happens to be Chinese New Year this time around, but it is New Years Eve none-the-less.

And that makes it the perfect time to announce the winners of my New Year's Present contest.

I was so startled when I read the responses to my second contest post and realized that people were completely flummoxed. It was quite odd. I thought I'd picked a question that was fairly easy. I appear to have been wrong. This is one of the responses that I got,

"i've been thinking about this since you posted it originally and i'm either incredibly dense or it's well hidden...oh wait, you said it was in plain sight *rats* my original thought was that someone (peacock?) had gotten you a gorgeous assortment of koigu...but that wouldn't have been "made" for you...unless maybe it was enough colors for a really big charlotte (in other words 'making' a kit...yeah i know...weak) i'm fairly sure that the current photo was NOT the header photo i remember for your site...and of course there's no way to go back and check to see if i was's not much of a guess but did someone make you the header photo for the blog? the only other thing i could think of (looking now) was perhaps something to do with the piggies but you posted that after the original post...argh throwing up my hands in frustration"

I find this so amusing because in this particular email all the correct answers were present in the text, but she wasn't sure enough to just come out and say it! It's also quite cute because I got myself the gorgeous assortment of Koigu for myself as a Christmas present.

The answer to the contest question is that Peacock made me the banner at the top of my blog and figured out how to install it so the corners were rounded and everything. She's wonderful!

So, for the winners: Laurie had the first response and Mia had the first correct response.
And the prizes:

I figured it would be appropriate to give Koigu as the prize when the wonderful present was a picture of a koigu rainbow. The stitchmarkers were made by Peacock and me, the yarn purchased at the Fiber Gallery in Seattle.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Jaywalker KAL - One Sock Done

I have one of my Jaywalker socks finished.
Completely finished, off the needles, done. The ends are not yet woven in, but that's because I'm thinking about pulling it back out.

Why am I thinking of doing such a thing, you ask?

Because it's too tight! It pulls funny on the leg section and it's quite difficult to get on over my heel. The foot fits fine, it's wonderful in fact, I just can't seem to get the rest of it to cooperate.

It really is off the needles, I swear. I toyed about with skipping the ribbing on the top edge, but realized that if I did it would curl down my leg rather unfortunately, so a ribbed cuff has been added and the sock cast off.

Perhaps this trouble with the fit is all my fault for playing fast and loose with the pattern, knitting it upside down, and removing one stitch from the pattern rows in order to make it smaller, but I'm not entirely convinced. What I'm thinking is that I'll make the second one the same way up to the heel and then, I'll add that stitch I removed back into the pattern on two of the needles. I'm thinking that should probably done on the back two so the pattern can continue uninterrupted up the front of the sock and see if it fits better. If it does, I'll rip this one back to the heel and re-do the cuff.

Or maybe the Jaywalker gods will smite me for mucking about with the sock pattern that people who hate socks love.

Here's the sock and me waiting in line for Space Mountain at Disneyland. We went on that ride 3 times that day. It was quite fun. Every other time I'd been to Disneyland, Space Mountain had been under remont (translation: closed for repairs). I'm not sure why this made me desire to ride it as many times as possible, but it was fun.

Or maybe it's because I was sick and not up to walking all over the park. Waiting in line for most of the day gave me lots of time to knit and a fair bit of time to sit, right up my alley. I did tell Peacock a few times that, "If I were home, I'd be in bed," and sadly enough, I had no energy for the emphasis that conveying an exclamation point would have required. So when people went over to the California Adventure to ride some of the other rides, I sat down on Main Street to wait for the parades to come to me. (remember those trees I tried to claim I decorated for Christmas?)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

CandyCane Hat - Finished

I finished the CandyCane Hat!
The knitting was finished before we went away for Christmas.
The finishing... just last week.
The incentive, you ask? Friends with a brand new little one in Boston.

The piggies say the hat is theirs!

I had some trouble with the pattern, and got some help from the lovely folks at the Handknit Holidays KAL, but it didn't really help. Look at the picture.

See how where the crown shaping starts, the spirals seem to go straight up a bit? They really do that and kind-of even reverse direction on the crown of the hat. While I have come to terms with the idea that the hat does this on purpose, it is not what I was expecting.
I do, have to agree that it probably looks better this way than it would have if the spirals had gotten steeper as they went onto the crown of the hat. It really is a cute hat and a wonderful easy first project for stranded knitting.

I hope the piggies let me send it to the baby. Maybe I need to knit them something of their very own so they stop stealing my knitted stuff.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Missing Pictures and Contest Winners

If you noticed that this site was missing its pictures yesterday, congratulations for checking in during our server outage.
It looks to me like the pictures are all here, so I'm assuming that means the server is back up again. Here's hoping its true and the problems have all been resolved.

I have winners for the New Year's Present contest. They will be announced later this week when I have pictures of their prize packages ready to post. Thank you all for playing, I'm having fun putting together the prizes... Now if only my question had been a little less difficult (I'll explain when the winners are revealed, I got some cute explanations of uncertainty in with the guesses)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Secret Pal 7 Questionaire

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?

I suppose I am a bit of a yarn snob. I have very few uses for acrylic or synthetic blend yarns. There are exceptions, but they are relatively few and far between. Some of the high end blends that are mostly natural fibers are quite nice.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I spin (a lot). I crochet (poorly and infrequently)

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Well, I have this hinged plastic case that I keep a jumble of circulars on top of a fabric sleeve-ish thing that could organize them better, I'm just not interested in being bothered with filing them correctly.
I keep single points in a long cordura zip bag that I got at Acorn Street.
I keep sock length double points in either their original containers (Crystal Palace) or ziploc baggies (Brittany) in a plastic pencil box.
I keep longer double points and crochet hooks in button tubes (from the yarn shop) standing upright in a Nestle Quick container.
I keep my drop spindles in an embarassingly disorganized manner. They can be found almost anywhere, often cushioned by the fiber they had been used to spin most recently. I can generally find one of them at any given point in time; I can almost never find all of them at the same time.

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I've been knitting this time around for a couple years now. Before that, my mom taught me as a kid, but insisted that I only work on one project at a time, so I got bored and moved on to something else instead of simply starting another project and continuing to knit.
Very little intimidates me about knitting. I can figure out what almost any instruction set means, it just might take me a while to get it right.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I have an Amazon wishlist. (I am an amazon affiliate, start your purchase at an amazon link on my blog and I'll get a kickback. (I'll put up a link in the sidebar at somepoint in the near future... roomates requested it and I agree it'd be a useful thing to have.))
If you ask me where to find it, I'll tell you.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

I really prefer unscented for most things.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Yes. Good chocolate can't be beat. Baked goods are also particularly favored in my house.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I sew a bit, I stitch a bit (just starting at sashiko), I have made a cradle (though I have no access to woodworking tools at the moment), I have made quite a bit of jewelry and love it.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Very open minded on the music front. No MP3 player, but the computer can handle them just fine. (and I've been lusting after a 1 GB Creative ZenNanoPlus for a bit now..)

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

Favorite color: green. Prefered palettes: green-blue-purple, sunsets, forests
Dislikes: orange by itself (I've had a bit of a fascination with it lately as an accent in something that is primarily blue), yellow.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Live with 2 roomates and one dog.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Scarves, hats, mittens, socks, sweaters, skirts... wait, am i getting carried away?
Not so much on the ponchos but I have seen a few cute little shoulder warmer thingies that I suppose are technically ponchos.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

Depends on the purpose. I love koigu (See my header bar? Those skeins were my Christmas present to myself). Cascade 220 is a nice all purpose yarn, as is Lambs Pride. I enjoy traditional yarns more than novelty.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Um,... I know of no natural fibers that I do not like.
I do not like acrylic, especially the cheap crunchy feeling stuff.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

Lace... Socks... Starting new projects

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?


17. What are you knitting right now?

List too long to compose for this purpose. I'm not even sure what I have on the needles at the moment.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Yes, absolutely.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

Circular or DPNs, I don't do so well with long straights, they wear on my wrists. That said, if I'm making something narrow, I'm perfectly happy using a dpns as straight needles.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Wood, Plastic, Bamboo, Aluminum. I'll use them all, but they are listed in the order of preference.

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes, both. In fact, the house has two ball winders. (but only one swift). The second ball winder is very useful at times when taking apart something that was worked with two strands held together.

22. How did you learn to knit?

My mom taught me when I was little and I re-taught myself 5 years ago while in college.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

I plead the fifth.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

Gir from Invader Zim.

25. What is your favorite holiday?

Memorial day, it's by my birthday.

26. Is there anything that you collect?

Does yarn count? How about fiber? Books?

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Interweave Knits, and Spin-Off. I reliably read Knitty and MagKnits as well.

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Um... I'll get back to you, the list would be rather long.

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I've just started working with stranded knitting. But other than that it's mostly just improving things I already have the basics on.

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yes, I knit socks.
My shoe is about a 9.5 to 10 depending on the brand. The commercial socks I'm wearing today are 10 inches long, standing on graph paper, my foot is 10.5 inches from heel to toe. (I hope that's enough information. When I knit myself socks, I just keep going until they fit right... I get lots of fraternal socks out of this arrangement)

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Secret Pal 7 - First Contact

I've heard from my new SP spoiler... I'm looking forward to another round of fun packages coming and going.
I think the going ones are my favorite. It's so much fun to try and figure out what would make my spoilee's day.
I got my assignment too and expect that I will quite enjoy spoiling her. I'm looking forward to it.

ps. I will get my questionnaire posted in the next couple days. I have quite a bit of it answered, it's just not done yet.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


My New Year's present contest didn't get any responses, so I'm changing the rules slightly and re-issuing the challenge.

I got a wonderful present for New Years and I want to share the wealth.
It is present on my blog and you should be able to see it.
It's not in a post.
It's not behind a link.

Drop me an email at onmyneedles at yahoo dot com with your thoughts about what my present is and who gave it to me.
There is no deadline.
The first respondent will get a prize.
The first correct respondent will also get a prize.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Would you believe...

... I decorated my Christmas tree last weekend?

No? How about this one?

Still don't believe me?

But it has my ornamental ornament on it...
Look, right there at the end of the arrow....

Okay, I confess...
We went to Disneyland during our bout of Christmas traveling and I took pictures of the trees in the Christmas parade.
After we got home, Peacock kindly falsified the data making it look like my ornamental ornament somehow managed to find its way onto one of Disney's trees.

Here's the tree our presents were really under. It's a little more approachable than the Disney trees. Cuter too. The ornaments at the bottom are erasers.

Ornamental - Received

I got home from the bout of Christmas traveling and was delegated to go to the post office to pick up the mail. At the post office I found my Ornamental Exchange package!
YAY !!!

Some of the candy ran away before I could take its picture, hence the empty wrapper. The sheepy jelly bean dispenser is terribly cute, disturbing, but cute.
The ornament is a lovely knit sweater with a beaded wire hanger.

Unfortunately the piggies stole the sweater and took it off to play.

The parent piggies were kind enough to help me get the sweater back from on high.

Ooh, you haven't met the piggies yet. Don't worry, they'll be back.